Officials concerned after many seen without masks at Trump rally in Gastonia

More than 23,000 attended Trump rally

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Gaston County officials say they have a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to Wednesday night’s rally for President Donald Trump.

More than 20,000 people crowded into the airport to listen to President Trump speak. A noticeable observation is many people decided not to wear a protective face covering. Health officials say that’s not good.

Adam Gaub is with public information for Gaston County, a potential COVID hotspot after President Trump’s rally Wednesday night - and certainly on his radar.

“Everything’s about levels of risk, right? We’re dealing with a pandemic and we’re dealing with a virus that we don’t have a cure for at this point.” said Gaub.

While some of the more than 20,000 that packed in at the airfield and stood shoulder to shoulder for hours did take precautions by wearing a mask, others decided against it.

“I’m not afraid of it. I’m not afraid of it. I’m pretty healthy, and I’m in decent shape.” one man in attendance said.

"Just a few weeks ago, we saw the 19-year-old at Appalachian State that died. Very young, very healthy kid, athlete. Gaub said.

“I don’t think it’s too important, I think it’s a political hoax.” another Trump supporter touted Wednesday night.

“We’re a little too busy to be cooking up conspiracies and the information we’re putting out there for the public is coming straight from our public health department.” Gaub explained.

Despite the appearance of the absence of masks, Jeremy Peppel says he’s sold a ton of them.

He runs a small stand peddling Trump merchandise along Robinwood Road, and said he sold over 60 of the face protectors to folks attending last night’s rally.

“There was a lot of people that came by the booth to get their masks and stuff, you know to protect other people,” Peppel said.

Stacy Sams who was there that night wore hers.

“I don’t want to come here and get something to take back to my family,” Sams said.

“Everything is about reducing your risk on getting covid.” according to Gaub.

If you did go to the rally, officials say it might be a good idea to give it a couple of weeks then go get tested – just to be on the safe side.

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